More than 250 beneficiaries of
the Urban Cash for Work Programme (UCWP) stormed Arua City headquarters Tuesday afternoon protesting the delayed release of funds for the project.
The affected beneficiaries comprising
mainly women, men, and youth, said they have not been able to access the funds
to implement the project and yet other cells in the city are completing implementing
The beneficiaries, who are drawn from
Club cell, Kebiri cell, and Jacinto cell, all in Kenya ward, Arua City Central
division are demanding Shillings 17.5 million each to implement various
Mustapha Andama, the LC 1 secretary of Club cell wonders why
beneficiaries in Kenya ward have not received their funds, yet the project
is coming to an end.
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The angry residents also accused
Arua City Central division authorities of forcing them to construct a market shed
project in the Club cell, which they say is contrary to what they approved as
Elias Opi, the LC I chairperson
of Jacinto cell choose road maintenance as their project but they were surprised
to learn that their project has been changed without their notice.
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According to Summary Ejaga, the LC
2 chairperson of Kenya ward, the beneficiaries decided
to storm the offices after repeated pleas to the authorities to intervene in vain.
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It took the intervention of
Florence Asianzu, the Deputy Arua City Internal Security officer (CISO) who
calmed the residents and promised to follow up on the matter with the city
However, Osuga Raul, the speaker
of Arua City central division, said although the council had signed a memorandum of understanding
with a private land owner it’s not possible to implement the project due to
wrangles over the ownership of the disputed market.
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In April last year, 4,200
beneficiaries in Arua central division were selected to benefit from the pilot project
funded by the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the Ministry of
Labour, Gender and Social Development.
Under the Programme, each of the 50
cells in the division was entitled to receive 17.5 Million Shillings for the
implementation of community projects designed to provide short-term labor-intensive
employment to poor and vulnerable individuals.
The Urban Cash for Work Programme
aims to mitigate the income shock encountered by some of the households in
large urban centers as a result of the various measures instituted by the
government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.